RS22037 - Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: Program Overview and Issues
10-Apr-2009; Mary Tiemann; 12 p.
Update: Previous Releases:
February 22, 2008
March 9, 2007
June 20, 2006
April 27, 2006
Abstract: The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 authorized a drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to protect public health. Under the program, states receive capitalization grants to make loans to water systems for drinking water projects and certain other SDWA activities. Since FY1997, Congress has appropriated roughly $10.3 billion for this program, including $829 million for FY2008. As of June 2006, the DWSRF program had provided roughly $11 billion in assistance and supported 4,985 projects.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) latest (2003) survey of capital improvement needs for public water systems found that water systems need to invest $276.8 billion on infrastructure improvements over 20 years to ensure the provision of safe water. This amount represents a 60% increase over the 1999 survey estimate of $165.5 billion (in 2003 dollars) and reflects funds needed for compliance with several new regulations (e.g., the revised arsenic and radium rules), security-related needs, and better reporting of needs for infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement. Key issues include the gap between estimated needs and funding, SDWA compliance costs, and the need for cities to improve water infrastructure, apart from SDWA compliance. [read report]